The U.S. Sanitary Commission, a forerunner to the American Red Cross, was formed by volunteers during the Civil War to raise supplies and funds for the North. As part of its activities, the Commission issued a call for quilts and blankets for the soldiers. All supplies donated to the Commission were marked on the back with a "US Sanitary Commission" stamp
The quilts were given to soldiers to use as their bedrolls and were used in hospitals for wounded soldiers. Over the course of the war, the Women's Auxillary made more than 250,000 quilts. Of these, only six are known to exist today. Only one of these quilts is in the public domain, and on display at the Lincoln Memorial Shrine in Redlands, California. It is a national treasure.
Because of the effectiveness of the Northern blockade of their ports, Southern women did not have access to the raw materials to make new quilts. So they sent their soldiers off with priceless family heirloom quilts.
Just as the women of the Civil War honored their brave soldiers, the Home of the Brave quilters are making these Civil War replica quilts as an expression of deepest appreciation and respect for the service and sacrifice made by the United States military personnel in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.